Origin killed the NRL star
Forget video killing the radio star, State of Origin is killing the NRL competition. The Dogs v Roosters game promised to be the game of the season, delivered it for 60 minutes then…fizzled. The crowd promised to be 30,000+ on a perfect Friday night but…just didn’t deliver. What was missing? Josh Morris, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Tony Williams, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings and Aiden Guerra. And so, Sonny Bill Williams ran riot on the Bulldogs left edge where Morris, Hodkinson and Tony William normally reside. Trent Robinson is not stupid. He know where the Dogs were susceptible. The game just didn’t quite reach the crescendo it so thoroughly deserved. Ditto Titans (who were very brave) v Warriors, Tigers v Broncos, Raiders v Cowboys and, I dare say, Sharks v Rabittohs. Who are the real losers in these contests? The fans. If the Bulldogs miss the top four by two points or the Titans, Tigers or Cowboys (minus Thurston, Tate, Tamou and Scott) miss the semi final by two points or a poor “for and against” record because their superstars were missing to State of Origin, try explaining that to the very people the NRL expect to pay their hard earn money to support their team.
The solution is simple. Three consecutive Saturday nights should be allocated to Origin whilst the NRL is placed on hold. This is the fairest solution to all teams.
Blake is back
Where does a player, who has had countless off-field dramas including a guilty verdict for indecently assaulting a woman, go when he wants to return to the NRL? The glitz and glamour club, The Sydney Roosters, of course. Really? Makes perfect sense! Why not join the most socially controversial club who has had a history of players being in the limelight and frequenting the vast array of nightspots in the area? That’s right, why not hang out with Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves? That’ll fix your drinking and anti-social behaviour problems! It’s like asking a dog to mind the butcher shop. Last week, the Roosters announced the employment of Blake Ferguson in a community and junior development role. Firstly, the court case has not yet concluded. Secondly, he hasn’t undergone the required rehabilitation program. Finally, he hasn’t been given the green light from the NRL to re-register him. Why is any club even entertaining the thought of having a serial offender like Ferguson part of their roster in any capacity? The pity of it all is it will mean that a club legend and one of the most decent human beings to ever lace a footy boot, Anthony Minichiello, will have to be cast aside to make way for Ferguson if he is granted to play in 2015. Doesn’t sound right, does it?
Has the Penny finally dropped?
Have the NRL clubs finally woken to the fact that lower ticket prices will fill a stadium? On Saturday night, a crowd of 16,511 attended the Wests Tigers vs out-of-town club, the Brisbane Bronco’s, to create a great atmosphere for all concerned. Price tickets were reduced to $10 for adults and this had an immediate desired effect, especially when comparing to the pitiful crowd of just over 6,000 the last time a game was held at Campbelltown Stadium. If more clubs follow suit, this will lead to a multitude of benefits to the clubs, the NRL and television. More people not only means more catering, merchandising and sponsorship dollars at the ground but also a flow on effect including more tv viewers which means more advertising dollars. I believe clubs who take such initiatives need to subsidised by the NRL due to the value add benefits the NRL gains from such initiatives. Big crowds attract even bigger crowds. People love atmosphere and will go to games just to be part of the big game atmosphere. Let’s hope the snow ball starts gathering momentum.